Rangoli, which are also known as Kulam and Muugu, are an essential and beautiful part of Diwali, providing fountains of colour across India at this time of year. They are intended to welcome Hindu deities into the home, and patterns have traditionally been passed down from generation to generation, with the symbols used forming a key part of India’s cultural heritage. Making a rangoli is one of many great art and craft ideas for kids that you can find online – and this one will also help your child learn more about his or her culture at the same time!
The design and size of Rangoli can vary greatly, but making a small one with your children can be a great bonding experience, and a fun way to share the spirit of this special holiday. Moreover, the craft of making Rangoli is traditionally taught by family elders, and so teaching your children some basic Rangoli techniques is helping to keep this ancient practice alive. The displays are also thought to bring good luck, and an easy version can be made with just black paper and chalks.
First, decide on the size of black paper you’ll be using, making sure to not choose a size that’s so big your kids will lose interest or so small that you won’t be able to produce a sufficiently intricate design. The paper will probably need to be cut to size, which should be done by the parent to avoid accidents.
Next, you’ll need to decide on a design that incorporates plenty of colour and is pleasing to the eye. There’s plenty of inspiration available online, with the most popular patterns generally being symmetrical and based on plant designs, and featuring elements such as lotus flowers, mangos, human figures, foliage and birds such as parrots, swans, and peacocks.
Now, lightly sketch your chosen design in pencil so you can erase if required. Older children should be able to do this stage, provided you supervise them appropriately. Once you’re happy with your design, go over your pencil outline in white chalk, to ensure that the lines are clear and distinct, paving the way for the next stage.
Finally, it’s time to get the coloured chalks out and fill in your outline, something that you should be able to get the whole family involved in. Generally, the more colourful the better, so encourage your kids to be creative and choose their favourite colour combinations.
As a finishing step, it’s a good idea to blow off any excess chalk dust and you’ll be left with a beautiful Rangoli that the whole family worked to make together. Your completed Rangoli should be displayed prominently somewhere in the house, such as the kitchen, hall, or doorway.